I’m far more on the non-aggressive side, I’d maybe even call myself a pacifist. Yet, I have those moments when I get knocked down by an invisible force or a very present person, bludgeoned on the inside. And that hole that is left in my chest screams for that same weapon to be used on whoever, even myself, again and again if necessary, just because I need some specific action, right? An answer. Well, as an introvert I usually ignore that urge and respond differently, with isolation, more or less complete one.

The violence that could be produced is left with one single target then, the target I eventually get some compassion for. After all, I know her so well. I know how she struggles and survives. For two decades, she’s been winning battle after battle, alone. Sometimes, she breaks numbly and dumbly, but sometimes she howls to the sky she doesn’t want to die, so please stop tempting her, prays through the darkness and the pain, prays like she actually believed in something.

I let her cry and let her go silent and worry about friends later, I let her drink her beer. Then, I show her the books and the trip plan and the music, I watch her dance and sing, and see her collapse again on a specific song and the next one. I see her on the station the following day, thinking why there is something so definitive about taking a train, why it seems pure leaving somehow, even more so than the plane. She won’t enjoy the trip, it’s not time yet, but she will go through it and let herself have a few moments of superficial joy.

Then, comes the rest and the slow lonely healing. The moment when the bludgeon is finally put back on the shelf, not yet forgotten, but not anymore ready to use. I remembered the words and the melodies and the sun. I’ll celebrate the birthday by myself, to mark the end to another battle whose scars still bleed. I know better than letting someone else be my savior.

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